I was tempted to write a long, part-angry, part-sad, all-frustrated review of tonight’s “How I Met Your Mother,” which – at least with the silly, lazy, two-dimensional Barney storyline – took whatever goodwill still lingered from the John Lithgow episode from a few weeks ago and lit it on fire, then danced on the ashes. I was going to express puzzlement about how the series seems to go to such strange creative extremes this season, where some weeks it feels very much like the show we know and love (even if it’s a slightly older version of that show), and others it feels like a show where the entire creative team was replaced en masse by the people behind Kelsey Grammer’s “Hank.” I was going to talk about how the non-Barney scenes weren’t terrible, but were completely flat and lifeless. I was going to repeat the usual lament about how the show has chosen to completely, utterly ignore the fact that Marshall only took the soul-crushing but lucrative corporate job because of Lily’s shopping addiction, and that for those of us who remember that fact, Lily’s complaining about Marshall’s earning potential speaks very, very poorly of her. I was going to repeat my desire that we get to Ted and Zoey’s horrible breakup already, just so we can be rid of her.
But what’s the point? There have been good episodes this season – very good episodes at time – and then there have been absolutely terrible ones, and there seems to be no pattern, rhyme or reason about which you’re going to get in any given week. You spin the wheel, and some weeks you get “Legendaddy” or “Oh Honey,” and some weeks you get “Canning Randy” or “The Exploding Meatball Sub.”
I’d get mad again, but there have been too many opportunities for that this season, and then others for the anger to go away for a while. I’m just gonna put this one in the rearview and hope the next spin turns up better.